Wills & Estates, and End-of-Life Planning
Why make a will? From Dial-A-Law…
Every adult who owns assets or has a spouse or young children should have a will. By preparing a will, you have control over who gets how much of your estate and when you can appoint a guardian for any young children you have. You can minimize the time and expense for others to deal with your affairs after you die. See our information on preparing a will and estate planning for guidance on preparing a will.
Legal Information Resources (BC & Canada)
- A Death in Your Family by People’s Law School – Information for people who want to know more about what to do first when a family member dies, how to make funeral arrangements, and where to find support. Part of the Clicklaw Wikibooks collection.
- BC Government: Wills & Estate Planning – Including sections for Indigenous populations.
- Clicklaw: Common Questions
- How to make a will
- Relative died without a will
- Wills for people who live on reserve
- Executor of a will – now includes Estate Guide
- Probate application and forms
- Contesting or disputing a will
- See all wills-related Common Questions
- See all personal planning-related Common Questions – Representation Agreements, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives
This online legal information site provides guided pathways on a number of common issues including one on creating a will. It will guide you through the process of creating a basic will.
- Nidus: Provides resources on personal planning (planning for incapacity or end-of-life).
- Vanderhoof Hospice Care – Has information on Vanderhoof hospice care that is available.
- Stuart Nechako Manor – Access to long-term care is through a Home Health assessment.
- Nidus Personal Planning and Resource Centre Registry – Personal planning is about planning for incapacity, end-of-life and other support needs. Personal planning formalizes informal help provided by your friends and family and gives them or others the legal authority necessary to help you.
- Canadian Virtual Hospice – Information and support on palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief.
What to do
- After a Death (Canada) – outlines what to do when someone dies, at the federal level, such as: canceling a passport, notifying the CRA, contacting credit bureaus to avoid fraud, and claiming life insurance.
- Life Events: Death (BC) – what to do when someone dies, at the provincial level. Learn how to register a death in British Columbia and order a death certificate. Get information about wills and estates.
- Make a Will Week (October in BC) – to encourage the public to write their will or bring an existing will up-to-date.
Books & Kits (print & digital for purchase)
- Self-Counsel Press: Wills – Books, kits, and forms to help you prepare an estate plan, make a legal will or codicil to a will, and write a medical directive or living will or representation agreement. (Some of these titles may be in our catalogue, or can be purchased locally at Otter Books)
Consider a Digital Will to manage your Digital Estate (from West Vancouver Public Library presentation)
Outlines what a person would like to happen to their digital estate after they die. It can be a part of your overall will. A digital estate is made up of digital assets and digital accounts.
- Digital asset = an individual electronic file. This includes: a photograph taken with your smartphone, an email, a Word document.
- Digital account = an online account such as an email account, Facebook account, online banking account, etc.
Why is this important?
- Passing on sentimental digital items (photos, emails)
- Passing on digital items of monetary value (music accounts, PayPal, eBay)
- Subscriptions can continue to charge the estate
- Helping people manage your overall estate (access to online banking)
What happens if you don’t deal with your digital estate?
- It can be nearly impossible for anyone to access your accounts/assets.
- The account will most likely: stay online; provide the ability for others to continue to interact; could potentially be at risk for identity theft
Consider what you want:
- Accounts shut down immediately
- Accounts up temporarily so that others can post condolences?
- Assets passed on to a friend or family member
Organize your digital assets now so that you can decide what you want to pass on:
- Do not put any passwords in your will itself.
- Digital accounts of a business may be an asset of the corporation. Check with a legal professional.
- Do you really want to pass on every email? Or a selection of meaningful ones?
How to manage:
- Make a list of all digital assets and accounts – Easiest to use a password manager
- Create a digital estate plan
- Designate a digital estate manager
- Include the instructions in your will
- Keep your will up to date (check it over once a year)